43 CFR 2.12 - When can I expect the response?

§ 2.12 When can I expect the response?
(a) Basic time limit. Ordinarily, a bureau has 20 workdays from the date of receipt to determine whether to grant or deny your FOIA request (see paragraph (b) of this section). The bureau will notify you immediately upon reaching its decision. If you have not received a response within 20 workdays, or 30 workdays if an extension has been taken (see § 2.13) (be sure to allow for mailing time), you may contact the bureau to ask about the delay (see appendix A to this part). You also have the right to consider any nonresponse within these time limits as a denial of records and file a formal appeal (see § 2.28(a)(3)) or lawsuit. These time limits do not apply to requests for expedited processing (see § 2.14).
(b) Running of basic time limit. The 20 workday time limit begins to run when a request complying with the procedures in §§ 2.8 and 2.10 is received by the FOIA contact at the bureau office that has the records you are seeking. This means that all issues regarding fees and the scope of your request must be resolved before the bureau will begin processing your request.
(c) Determining the status of your request. To determine the status of your request, you should call, fax, or email the point of contact provided in the bureau/office's acknowledgment letter to you, referencing the FOIA control number assigned to your request. You may also contact the appropriate FOIA Requester Service Center. If you are dissatisfied with the FOIA Requester Service Center's response, you may contact the bureau/office's FOIA Public Liaison to resolve the issue. (The relevant names and telephone numbers are listed at http://www.doi.gov/foia/liaison.html ).
[67 FR 64530, Oct. 21, 2002, as amended at 74 FR 17092, Apr. 14, 2009]
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§ 2.12 What should you know about how bureaus process requests?

(a) Except as described in §§ 2.4 and 2.13 of this part, the bureau to which the request is addressed is responsible for responding to the request and for making a reasonable effort to search for responsive records.

(b) In determining which records are responsive to a request, the bureau will include only records in its possession and control on the date that it begins its search.

(c) The bureau will make reasonable efforts to search for the requested records. As part of its reasonable efforts, the bureau will search paper and/or electronic records (for example, emails), as appropriate. The bureau will not search for records in an electronic form or format if these efforts would significantly interfere with the operation of the bureau's automated information system.

(d) If a bureau receives a request for records in its possession that it did not create or that another bureau or a Federal agency is substantially concerned with, it may undertake consultations and/or referrals as described in § 2.13.

[77 FR 76902, Dec. 31, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 11128, Mar. 3, 2016]

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